Skip to main content Skip to navigation
School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Meet our Faculty!

Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs PortraitsMatt Stichter


Office: Johnson Tower 817
Phone: 509-335-7121
Curriculum Vitae

I pursue research at the intersection of moral psychology, virtue ethics, and the philosophy of expertise. I have published extensively on the “virtue-as-skill” thesis, arguing that the development of virtue should be understood as a process of skill acquisition, and I draw on the psychological research on self-regulation and expertise to formulate this thesis. Learning a skill is a process of acquiring practical knowledge, that is, the knowledge of how to do something, like building a house or driving a car. With virtue, the practical knowledge is the knowledge of how to act morally well, like acting honestly or kindly.  The ‘virtue as skill’ thesis conceives of the virtuous person as an ethical expert, who has achieved expertise in several moral skills.  I ground my conception of skill acquisition in the latest psychological research on self-regulation, expertise, and cognitive science.

Ph.D. in Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, 2007
M.A. in Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, 2003
B.A. in Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, 1996

Research Interests
Moral Psychology, Ethical Theory, Philosophy of Expertise, Applied Ethics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Action, Philosophy of Law, Political Philosophy

Classes Taught
Graduate Seminar in Ethical Theory
Graduate Seminar in Business Ethics
Ethical Theory
Business Ethics
Philosophy of Law
Social and Political Philosophy
Introduction to Ethics
Introduction to Philosophy
Independent Study: Moral Psychology

Publications (selected recent work)

  1. Stichter, Matt (October 2018). The Skillfulness of Virtue: Improving our Moral and Epistemic Lives. Cambridge University Press.

  Journal Articles

  1. Stichter, Matt (2022). The True Self as Essentially Morally Good – An Obstacle to Moral Improvement?. Journal of Moral Education, 51(2): 261-275.
  2. Stichter, Matt (2021). Virtue as Skill and the Virtues of Self-Regulation. Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (Special Issue on Virtue and Skill): 355-369.
  3. Stichter, Matt (2020). Learning from Failure: Shame and Emotion Regulation in Virtue as Skill. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23(2 – Special Issue on Virtue Ethics and Moral Psychology): 341-354.
  4. Stichter, Matt (2016). Practical Skills and Practical Wisdom in Virtue. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 94(3): 435-448.